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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Things are Precious only when Rare

Bow did not even ask for his cherries this morning. He does not want them. He's had too many cherries lately, and he does not find them the least bit tempting, anymore. On the other hand, he finished his grapes.

Bow Looks at His Leftovers after Breakfast

The grapes are store bought, so I dole them out sparingly. The cherries are homegrown, so he can have them at every meal and snack time, if he likes.

Bow's Breakfast Table after Breakfast
grapes entirely consumed, cereal bowl with leftover flakes and cherries untouched
You can lead a chimp to cherries, but you cannot make him eat them. Of course, it wasn't always like this. If you have been following my other blog,  The Feast Before Us, then you know that at first, we anticipated the feast to come:

Then we enjoyed eating the cherries:

And finally, to make the cherries more interesting, we also tried them in jello:

But the time has come to accept the facts: the cherries are less valued now that they are so abundantly available. It isn't a strictly human phenomenon or one that applies only to chimpanzees: to be precious, something has to be rare.

Have you noticed that food prices naturally tend to go up in a famine or fall in a period of abundance? It is not greed on the part of sellers nor cupidity in consumers. It is just a fact of nature. immutable and fixed, and it has nothing to do with money, except insofar that money reflects the most basic instincts of us all: we will appreciate it more if it is rare.


  1. I would still love the cherries, but I like fruit. However, my sisters used to and still feel the same way about all the apples my mom has growing on her trees each year. Ever wonder why I make a thousand apples pies? Well no one would eat apples unless I did something different with these. I like a raw apple myself, but some people rarely touch these because they say after a few they are bored.

    1. I still eat the cherries, Julia. But the others in my household won't.
      It's funny you should mention apples. We eat a lot of raw apples in their natural form. But most of them are store bought, and they are amazingly round and perfect in every way. No blemishes and no pcck marks and smooth on the outside as silk. How do they do that? When we have apples at Orchard House, they are strangely shaped and a little blotchy, and though Bow will try them at first, he does tire of them in a way that he never tires of store bought apples. It's a real problem.

  2. The people that grow apples never send the blemished ones to market, and there are places where you can buy the rejects for cheap discounts. I actually prefer home grown apples over store bought ones because I feel like these have more flavor. The store bought ones are gross bred to make these presentable and pretty, but they do not taste very good to me. I suppose it is because I like the taste of home grown apples better. But store ones will always look nicer in general because they only try to grow ones and send ones there that look presentable.

    1. I agree with you, Julia. Home grown fruit does taste better, apples included. But it seems that this prejudice in favor of perfect looking apples extends to chimpanzees as well, as eventually Bow tires of the home grown ones, but never of the store bought.

    2. My sister is the same way, and she is an adult. Some how a frozen pizza from Walmart has more allure than one that is made at home.